Due to some power outages on behalf of one of our debaters we had to delay 24 hrs, but rest assured we have the 2nd arguments after the jump!
Again, the comment section will be closed until I post the third speaker's arguments.
Affirmative team: If I can have the 3rd speaker's argument by noon tomorrow we can have it posted before the weekend and announce the winner on Monday.
First of all, my sincerest apologies for the delay everyone. For those unaware, the Charlotte area (and large parts of the entire state of NC) were hit by a very nasty storm system that knocked power out throughout the region. But without further ado, let's address the matter at hand: trading Steve Smith for a 3rd round pick.
As Panther4Life mentioned, Steve Smith in 2009 managed to put up fairly decent numbers with a mediocre quarterback. However, that is not the full story. The real troubling thing is that a downward trend has become apparent with Steve. Between 2006 and 2008, Smith caught a healthy 60% of passes thrown to him. However, it was 2009, a year Panther4Life claimed to be "decent" that Smith's numbers took a rather large dip. That year, he only caught 50% of passes thrown his way. In 2010, he caught only 45.01% of the passes thrown his way. I know that the QB situation is bad, but some of that can be attributed to Steve's decline. And there are other troubling signs as well.
Smith has always been a devastating YAC WR. His biggest threat has been slipping one defender with his amazing speed and agility. However, the amount of yards after the catch that he has received per catch has been in a steady decline for the last 4 years. He is simply not as young as he used to be and he is losing that amazing speed that made him so deadly. It was no more apparent than when he attempted to return kickoffs last year after several years of refusal. He simply was not as fast as he was before. Not only that, but Smith has not completed a full season since he was won the Triple Crown of WRs in 2005. Even Mushin Muhammed, who is widely regarded as keeping himself in the best possible shape he could, showed similar production dips from his 2003 and 2004 performances five years later and routinely was kept out of practice to keep himself fresh for the games.
It's not that Steve Smith is a bad WR by any means, but he is clearly past his prime and right now we have plenty of young talent at the WR position and his presence on the team is not that of a mentor. He has never shown any willingness to teach young WRs how to be successful and even those he has tried to take under his wing have flamed out already(Kenny Moore, specifically). WRs need veteran guidance as well, and we have that in Ricky Proehl now, the same person who mentored Smith. As our previous speaker mentioned, he can also be a cancer in the locker room when things aren't going well. When Dwayne Jarret needed someone to show him the ropes, Smith cut into him by interjecting into a reporter's interview saying, "Go watch some film." When Clausen was floundering last year, he made matters worse by openly speaking about how he thought Clausen should apologize to the people on offense. And yes, in 2008 he nearly shattered the entire team and if it were not for the forgiveness of Ken Lucas that year, he may very well have. Rough times may still be ahead and the question becomes, "can we really pander to this man's attitude anymore?"
Hello, Panthers Nation, PanthersPaul here. While many of us in Panther nation are in agreement that Steve Smith is one of the greatest players to ever don the Blue and Black. However, this debate strikes a divide in the Panther faithful as to whether or not Steve Smith should be traded away from The Carolina Panthers for a third round draft pick. I am here to argue that Steve Smith should stay with the Panthers to the end.
While many would argue that they wish Smith would join a Super Bowl Contender, that he has "lost a step," or that he simply isn't the same player that he once was. I am in strong disagreement with these arguments.
First, I feel that with an immediate upgrade to the quarterback position that the Panthers themselves are all but on the cusp of being a Super Bowl contending team. The offensive line, with Otah healthy, is one of the strongest in the league. Dynamic running backs that can hit the holes fast and strong in Stewart/Williams/Goodson already make our offense a very formidable one. With a stop-gap quarterback such as a McNabb or Palmer would greatly improve upon the passing impotence that is Jimmy Clausen, which in my eyes in the main reason we were no where near as competitive as we could be last season. Don't get my wrong; I know Davidson and Fox didn't do anything in their power to help the situation, but it ultimately falls on Jimmy Clausen's shoulders to execute. With our defense being the strongest aspect of our team, and one of the best in the league, I do not think that our team as a whole is that far removed from being a Super Bowl contender. Trading Smith now would be detrimental to this dream. As someone who still to this day commands double coverage, and more times than not a safety over the top, it would be asinine to trade him and leave our young WRs to fend for themselves against the DBs in this league. Without the presence of Steve Smith, Lafell and Gettis would be sitting ducks and I feel that they would not be able to get open as often without Smith to take some pressure off. And to the critics who say that Smith has lost a step, I cannot argue too much with these accusations, however I would argue the relevance of the argument. Even if Smith has lost a step he is still a crisp route runner and a tremendous competitor who commands attention. This would allow our other, much younger WRs to take on the role of the speedster.
To conclude, with almost certain change coming at the QB position, I feel that it would be ill advised to trade the only staple that the Panthers have at the WR position. This would only make the situation harder for whichever QB the Panthers decide to bring in, and ultimately damage our chances of a speedy return to top-notch competitiveness. Keep Smith here, and go Panthers! Over and out!